30 Aug 2021

Collaboration Applications Joined the Mainstream in 2020 with Worldwide Revenues Forecast to Nearly Double by 2025, According to IDC

NEEDHAM, Mass., August 30, 2021 – 2020 was a transformational year for collaboration applications as organizations everywhere turned to "work from anywhere" business models to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, worldwide collaboration applications revenues grew to $22.6 billion in 2020, an increase of 32.9% over 2019. According to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), this was the fourth consecutive and most significant year of double-digit, year-over-year growth for the market.

"While consumers and early adopter businesses had widely embraced collaborative applications prior to the pandemic, the market saw five years' worth of new users in the first six months of 2020," said Wayne Kurtzman, research director, Social and Collaboration at IDC. "This has cemented collaboration, at least to some extent, for every business, large and small."

The top 5 collaboration application vendors in 2020 based on worldwide revenue were Microsoft, Google, Zoom, Cisco, and Slack. Combined, the top 5 vendors captured 64.2% of the market revenue — 4.0 percentage points more than 2019. While all the top 5 vendors experienced double-digit year-over-year revenue growth in 2020, IDC estimates Zoom led the pack in annual growth with 277.1%.

Looking forward, IDC expects a new generation of collaboration tools will enter the market — not necessarily to replace the leaders but to augment them with new features. This will include new document and asset types that provide more ways to collaborate, document, and measure what is happening in the enterprise. Other key developments expected in the collaboration application market include:

  • Deep integrations with third-party applications that will increase insights, minimize context switching, and according to IDC research, provide faster time to market/project completion.
  • New metrics will emerge to measure performance in the fully connected enterprise, augmented with collaboration and intelligence.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and automation will move beyond workflows to remove friction from work for nearly every function.

"The future of collaborative applications will see the introduction of more intelligence, new and more visual ways of connecting with each other, and measuring true value for customers," Kurtzman noted. "Fast-evolving features, intelligence, a need to work together from anywhere, and a still growing demand will drive collaborative applications to become a $50.7 billion market by 2025."

The IDC report, Worldwide Collaborative Applications Forecast, 2021–2025 (Doc #US48061821), provides a five-year forecast for the worldwide collaborative applications market. The forecast includes total market revenue, revenue by deployment type (cloud and on premise), and revenue by global region (Americas, Asia/Pacific including Japan (APJ), and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)). Significant market developments are addressed as well as market drivers and inhibitors.

The report, Worldwide Collaborative Applications Market Shares, 2020: The Year of Mass Adoption (Doc #US48061921), examines the vendor revenue performance in the overall collaborative applications market for 2020.

About IDC's Future of Work Practice

As organizations accelerate and expand digital transformation initiatives, traditional work models are no longer sufficiently nimble, adaptive, or scalable. IDC's Future of Work research practice helps organizations recognize the necessity of moving to work models that support an increasingly diverse, distributed, and dynamic workforce securely, effectively, and productively. To learn more about IDC's Future of Work research practices, please visit https://www.idc.com/promo/future-of-x/work.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.


For more information, contact:

Michael Shirer

Wayne Kurtzman